The Chair – a sketch about customer care

(Scene – a shop a shop counter. Shopkeeper stands behind the counter. Enter Customer, carrying a chair)

Shopkeeper: Good morning, sir, what can I do for you?

Customer: It’s this chair…

Shopkeeper: Ah, yes. That’s the Concord Sixteen, Sleek, plastic effect finish with sturdy Russian Fibre Glass legs I think. Is there a problem with it?

Customer. Well as a matter of fact, yes, there is. It doesn’t work.

(Customer plonks the chair down on the counter between himself and the shop keeper so they can’t see each other. They clownishly try to move their heads and position so they ca see each other again finally achieving this when the man apologetically puts the chair on the floor)

Customer~ Sorry. That’s better. Yes, it doesn’t work.

Shopkeeper: What do you mean it doesn’t work?

Customer: Well it…well, it doesn’t work!

Shopkeeper: Excuse me for asking, but this is a chair, sir. How can a chair not work?

(Customer sighs)

Customer: Very well. If I really have to. Look.

(Customer then tries to sit on the chair. First he is violently ejected from it, tries again, ejected from it, then various attempts to sit on it lead to him sliding off it as if it is made of ice.)

Customer (brushing himself off and nursing a few bruises): See? It doesn’t work. Kaputt.

(The Shopkeeper is clearly not believing this)

Shopkeeper: Is this some kind of joke?

Customer: I beg your pardon?

Shopkeeper: Are you having me on?

Customer:  No I bloody am not having you on. I bought this chair from you only yesterday, in hope of a clean and comfortable sit down on it and the damn thing simply doesn’t function at all.

(Shopkeeper sighs)

Shopkeeper: Would you mind if I try it, sir?

Customer: Go right ahead. Be my guest.

(Shopkeeper walks around to the other side of the counter and over elaborately prepares to sit on the chair. He slowly sits. There is no problem. He sighs again, looks at the Customer, gets up, walks around to his side of the counter. The Customer looks shocked.)

Shopkeeper: It seems to er.. work .. fine sir. I would even go far as to suggest that this chair is in er.. perfect working order.

Customer: It isn’t. It doesn’t work, I tell you. Look!

(Again the Customer sits upon the chair holding himself down by clinging to its underside. Almost like a rumble the chair erupts throwing him off)

Customer: It doesn’t work! See?

Shopkeeper: It was perfectly alright when I sat on it!

Customer (exploding): Well it doesn’t work for me! I demand a refund!

(The Shopkeeper sighs. He clearly thinks the man is mad but humours him)

Shopkeeper: Well, the Customer is always right, I suppose. One moment, sir.

(The Shopkeeper turns around and gets a new chair, identical. He walks round the counter moves the first chair aside and puts the new one down)

Shopkeeper: Let’s see if this one, works, shall we sir? I’ll be more than happy to refund your money if this one doesn’t “work” as well.

Customer: Well, that’s very good of you.

Shopkeeper: Why don’t you try it sir? See if it “works”?

Customer: Very well.

(Cautiously he creeps up on the new chair as if to take it by surprise. He sits on it and all is well. He is shocked. The Shopkeeper is just playing along now)

Shopkeeper: Well?

Customer: It…it…works!

Shopkeeper: Terrific.

Customer: I’ll take the replacement. It’s a good chair.

(He goes to pick it up and take it)

Shopkeeper: Wait, sir. (enjoying himself). Perhaps, in the spirit of quality assurance, we should double check? Shall I try it as well?

 

Customer: Well, it really isn’t necessary. I am quite happy with this one.

 

Shopkeeper: No, I insist. It is my paramount aim to ensure that you leave here at satisfied customer. So let’s make absolutely sure, shall we?

Customer: What a splendid idea. Go right ahead!

 

(Shopkeeper again makes an over-elaborate play at sitting on the chair. He sits and all seems fine)

 

Shopkeeper: There. A chair that works!

 

Customer: Terrific!

 

(Suddenly the shopkeeper is rudely ejected from the chair. He is utterly shocked. Tries again, ejected again. Goes through the same sliding off routine as the Customer. Finally stands up, angrily.)

 

Customer (goes to take the chair): Ah well, never mind. This chair is fine for me. It will do nicely.

 

(Shopkeeper grabs one end of the chair, trying to wrest it away from the Customer)

 

Shopkeeper: I can’t let you have that! It doesn’t work!

 

Customer (pulling the chair): Yes it does!

 

Shopkeeper: It doesn’t!

 

Customer: I want it!

 

Shopkeeper: Well, you can’t have it. It’s clearly faulty!

 

Customer: But it works for me!

 

Shopkeeper: I don’t care if it works for you! I won’t sell a chair that isn’t up to the mark!

 

Customer: Give it here! I paid good money for this!

 

Shopkeeper: You can have a refund.

 

(A tug of war ensues)

 

The End

 

 

 

 

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